psw650 & 3802......line or speaker level

On my old receiver (jvc) I tried using the lfe out to the 650 and it sounded like crap. Much better bass using the speaker level connections so I swithched it back. Just upgraded to a 3802.
Would the sub out (lfe) be the way to go with this receiver. I am going to try it anyway but I was just looking for a little advise as to the BEST bass for H/T & music.

Thanks

Mark
You can check out any time you like..,
but you can never leave...........
Post edited by Handyhaver on

Comments

  • rskarvan
    rskarvan Banned Posts: 2,374
    edited May 2002
    I have a 2nd related question.
    Can you use both the speaker line level connections and the sub out (LFE) channel between the receiver and the sub. Will the sub sum these 3 signals appropriately?
  • dylan
    dylan Posts: 453
    edited May 2002
    Yes, you can use both. I also wondered how the sub would handle it, but it sounds the best, to me. I have the 3802 and 650, and I use both connections. In the bass management section (can't remember exactly what it's called right now) of the receiver, it's set to Main+LFE.
    I like the speaker level for a couple reasons, one of which is if you're just using the sub out, it rarely kicks on when watching TV. I also liked it better for music. And with only speaker level, I wasn't getting as much bass as I thought I should. I tried everything, just speaker level/ just lfe/ bi wired/ etc and this was my favorite. My 2 cents...
  • Handyhaver
    Handyhaver Posts: 66
    edited May 2002
    Dylan,

    I didn't know you could use both. I would guess that you have the sub & receivers x/over set the same?? (80) Also, how do you have the fronts set (large or small).

    Am I understanding you right, you have your sub hooked up line level & speaker level at the same time & this works the best??
    I didn't think (or so I thouhght I read on these forums) that it would work.

    Mark
    You can check out any time you like..,
    but you can never leave...........
  • Dr. Spec
    Dr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited May 2002
    Handyhaver:

    I asked the same question here several months ago, and was told it's generally one or the other.

    Unless your bass management circuitry is non conventional, you should be able to do one or the other with equal success.

    For speaker level, set the mains to "large" and the subwoofer to "off/no". This will route all the bass, including the LFE channel, to the mains, and you manually select the x-over at the sub.

    For line level, set the speakers to "large" or "small", and the subwoofer to "yes".

    Using "small" on line level routes more of the bass from the center, mains, and surrounds to the sub, in addition to the LFE channel. This makes life easier on your speakers and receiver, because they are not working as hard. Assuming your sub can handle the extra load (and the 650 can), this lets you play louder and cleaner. In some cases, setting the speakers to "small" can slightly affect the sound of male voices (thins them out a bit) on the center channel.

    Using "large" on line level routes less (or sometimes none at all) of the bass from the center, mains, and surrounds to the sub. The sub only gets the LFE channel, and maybe a little bass from the mains and center/surrounds, or none at all. This makes life harder on your speakers and receiver, because they are being asked to produce more bass. This will limit how loud and clean you will be able to play without over taxing the mains and receiver. Male voices on the center channel will not be affected in "large" mode (if they were at all in "small" mode).

    Spec
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen ([email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
    SVS
  • dylan
    dylan Posts: 453
    edited May 2002
    I'll bet the main+lfe is a receiver by receiver feature, because I don't remember my 1801 having it. For your other questions, I have the 'sub out' to the 'lfe in' on the sub, and the speaker level out to the sub, then to the mains set to large (800i's). I'm playing around with the center (400i) being large and small, for now I have it large. I like both settings for the center, actually. In the receiver, sub is set to 'yes'.

    The question about the crossover point is a good one. My thinking is the receiver will send the 80hz and below signal to the lfe (which you can adjust with the 3802, to 80-100-120), and the crossover will only affect the signals being sent via the speaker level. So I set that one a little different (i've tried both 70 and 90) to avoid double-filtering.

    I'm still trying to make sense of the last part to be honest, and that could be complete BS. I've been meaning to post that question or ask Polk. Maybe it should be the same in this case, I'm not sure. The crossover point is part I haven't had enough time to play with, but I have it set at 70 right now and I'm happy with it. This setup has given me the best bass quality (tv/ music/ movies) and quantity as well. I have a good sized room (24x20'ish), so that factors in, too.

    Clear as mud? ;)
  • Handyhaver
    Handyhaver Posts: 66
    edited May 2002
    Ok,

    Now I'm a newbie to this stuff but it was my understanding that the receiver's x/over setting only worked through the lfe out . When using the speaker level, you are to use the sub's x/over.
    I don't think the lfe in, on the sub is filtered. So, if you have your reciever set to 80, how does the speaker level get any bass set at 70?? Would't you get more bass if you set the receiver to 100 and the fronts to small??

    By no means am I doubting you and do not have the tech knowlegde to challenge you either.. Hey, if it works for you and you are happy with the way it sounds, that's a good thing!

    I"M SO CORNFUSED!!!!
    You can check out any time you like..,
    but you can never leave...........
  • dylan
    dylan Posts: 453
    edited June 2002
    Originally posted by Handyhaver
    Ok,

    Now I'm a newbie to this stuff but it was my understanding that the receiver's x/over setting only worked through the lfe out . When using the speaker level, you are to use the sub's x/over.
    I don't think the lfe in, on the sub is filtered. So, if you have your reciever set to 80, how does the speaker level get any bass set at 70??

    I see what you're saying... that's also my understanding, but... I think the receiver is sending the 80 and below signal to the sub out and a full range signal through the speaker level. I haven't seen any documentation on this, but hooking it up this way, it sounds that way, too. Don't take my word as gospel, but this is what I can tell from hooking it up all the different ways.

    My best advice would be to try every hookup option possible, and see what works for you. Try some music you're familiar with with each hookup method, and I think you'll be happy with the results of the Main+LFE. In my case anyway, it was apparent right away that I was getting more, and better, bass with the addition of the speaker level. As I mentioned before, with only the sub out watching TV, it would kick on about 10% of the time, rather than all the time now.

    While you're at it, if you watch TV, or any other non DVD or stereo source (like, shudder, VHS...), try the Matrix DSP setting. The other dsp settings sound weird to me, but this one uses the front 3 speakers, and sounds better than the center heavy mix of Pro Logic II. I don't know what you're running for the other speakers (what are you using?), but the 800's and 400 going at the same time sounds pretty clear. I guess you would lose some surround effect, if it was in the source, but the trade-off works for me. Lots to try with a new receiver! ;)
  • Handyhaver
    Handyhaver Posts: 66
    edited June 2002
    Dylan,

    I'm running the polk rm7600 package with the3802. When I had my jvc, I tried the lfe set up and had the same problem with little to no signal getting to the 650. My jvc did not have the option o hooking it up main + lfe. I will be trying this hook up along with every other one possible. My system is a pain in the **** to work on so I will need to set some time aside when my house is empty so I don't have the wife & kids tripping over all the temp hook ups.
    I just got this receiver and am still finding out all it's potentials. I have been driving everybody crazy when they try to watch a movie and me making all my little tweeks. This is one hell of a receiver and really does my polks justice.

    Thanks for your reply's, I'll let you know how I make out.

    Mark
    You can check out any time you like..,
    but you can never leave...........
  • rskarvan
    rskarvan Banned Posts: 2,374
    edited June 2002
    Dylan,

    My setup is as follows.
    Denon 3801 sub out wired to PSW650 LFE IN.
    Denon 3801 L pre-outs wired to PSW650 L IN.
    Denon 3801 R pre-outs wired to PSW650 R IN.
    Denon 3801 subwoofer turned on and set to LFE only.

    NO SPEAKER LEVEL CONNECTIONS - preout connections only.

    Here is my theory:
    I want the LFE signal going only to the sub - not the mains.
    I want the sub to mix with the mains using the subs x-over (not set to Denon's 80 hz).
    I want all "small" speakers going to the sub only.
    I want to keep the big **** explosions off my mains.

    Seems to work for me. But, I'd prefer to get other peoples comments. Thanks.
  • dylan
    dylan Posts: 453
    edited June 2002
    rskarvan,
    That's interesting, I haven't tried it like that. I think one of the reasons I didn't was I didn't understand the flow of the signal using the preamp out's to the sub. So that would have to be a full range then, wouldn't it? The receiver's crossover only applies to the sub out then... so, in the end, I'm confused how this is different than also using the speaker level, unless you then set your mains to small, although I seem to remember you have SDA's?

    Maybe your way is better, since isn't the theory to have longer interconnects than speaker wire (?), so in turn wouldn't that mean a slightly better carrier of the signal to the sub? :confused:
  • rskarvan
    rskarvan Banned Posts: 2,374
    edited June 2002
    dylan,

    Yep... thats how I'm running it and it seems to be working well.
    Yes, I have SDA's... but, I thought I'd keep the deep explosions from U571 on the LFE channel to the sub only. Wiring it this way accomplishes this.

    Actually, to be honest, the Denon pre-outs are connected to a preamp. The preamp outputs then goes to both the amp (via XLR) and the sub (via rca). This way, I can listen to CD's thru the preamp and the amp only (leaving the Denon3801 off) then to the SDA's and the sub kicks on and supplements the bottom end - making the 3.1TL's sound a little more like 1.2TL's. I can also use the sub x-over knob to blend the sub to the SDA's a bit better.

    I didn't like the idea of running a very clean Krell signal thru the sub before going to the SDA's. That just seems very dumb. Also, I wasn't certain how many watts could be pumped through the sub to the sda's. I really didn't think the Polk Sub could cleanly trim up the low end from the signal before sending it to the sda's.

    Thats my setup and I'm sticking to it.
  • CHRIS
    CHRIS Posts: 454
    edited June 2002
    Pre-outs and speaker level will send the same exact full signal. IMO the pre-outs, speaker level or as RSKarvan has done is best, this way you bypass the half **** filter in the receiver. I'm not trying to sound like a know it all but have done a lot of research on bass. My 3801 does a piss poor job on the lfe out. I hope the following will help some of you.

    From www.audiohoics.com
    Which has some good info if you check it out.
     
    LFE Output with Large Main Speakers on Receivers
     
    Introduction
    It sometimes makes you wonder how so many audio companies can continuously put out new flagship state of the art home theater receivers loaded with more and more useless features, boasted power, fancy remotes, etc and yet fail to fix or at least improve one very basic fundamental problem.
    The LFE Output should NOT be crossed over at 80-90Hz !!!
    Wake up people and smell the coffee. Just because THX specified a suggested LFE cutoff frequency, doesn't mean it is correct or that it must be followed. It seems that everyone is forgetting what a subwoofer is meant to do. It is meant to act like a subwoofer, not a woofer. The purpose of a subwoofer is to reproduce very low frequencies that most loudspeakers cannot reproduce with authority on their own. In the 5.1 Digital realm, the LFE channel was introduced as a means to alleviate the demand placed on the other channels to deliver low frequencies with ample amounts of "oomph" without limiting the dynamic range. The majority of Receiver Companies continuously produce Receivers with a fixed LFE cutoff (-3dB) at 80-90Hz. These frequencies are high enough to still sound directional, especially if the sub is located in close proximity to the listening position. This makes it easy to locate the sub in the listening room and / or reinforcing standing bass waves in the listening room (60Hz) by coupling with the bass output from the main speakers if they are configured large.
    Multiple LFE Settings?Why not ?
    At least if the Receiver companies are gonna set the LFE output (-3dB) to 80-90Hz, allow the user the option to lower the cutoff in increments of 10Hz down to 30Hz or at least in increments of half octave steps. I realize it costs more money to design variable active low pass filters, but not much. I believe it is money well spent, which can easily be counteracted if the particular company budgets their product by offering a few less useless features (IE. DSP modes, THX processing, etc).
    Conclusions
    I highly recommend looking at Separates Solutions with Preamp/Processors or a Receiver (good luck!) that offers variable LFE Frequency settings if you are using quality "large" Tower type speakers with inherently good bass extension. You will find the addition of a sub is much more useful as a compliment to your main speakers, producing deep, non-directional bass tones.
    Alternatively, you can give into the industry and accept the fact that most Receivers set their LFE at one frequency (fc = 90Hz), high enough to allow your sub to play up to almost a 100Hz, which will most likely constructively interfering with your main speakers, increasing the chances of:
    1) Unwanted and unnatural sounding standing bass waves,
    2) Identifying the subwoofer as a point source rather than a discrete member.
    3) Excessive bass boom.
    Why pay for someone else's fantasy? It's time us Audioholics speak the truth loud enough for the industry to hear us and make a change. After all, we are the driving force behind their products. We are the one's who create the demand. Start demanding more flexible products for the money. Demand an adjustable LFE setting. Email your favorite Receiver company today !!!
    [email protected]

    All rights reserved 2000TM
    Chris :)
  • Handyhaver
    Handyhaver Posts: 66
    edited June 2002
    ok, finally found the time to run a lfe line along with the speaker lines. Have not had the time to adjust settings and play as of yet. Having a grad party next week & the little woman has a "honey do" list a mile long. What a slave driver!! Will find time this weekend (if she goes out long enough)........to be continued
    You can check out any time you like..,
    but you can never leave...........
  • RBreak
    RBreak Posts: 31
    edited June 2002
    Hello, sorry for jumping in so late in the thread, I'm interested trying this LFE and line level sub connection but have few questions. I'm very new to all this so forgive me if I'm missing something obvious. I think I have some of this figured out but I'm not sure:

    The LFE (or sub out) is a dicsreet bass signal, (completely seperate from the low frequency sounds sent to the mains or other speakers) for DD/DTS tracks (the .1 in 5.1, 6.1, etc.). I have a Denon 2802 receiver that I have set up to cross over at 80 Hz, thereby causing any signal under 80 Hz from any speaker set to "small" to also go to the sub. So at this point I have multiple signals going to the sub: the LFE signal and low frequency signals from speakers set to "small".

    Then there is the line level connection, left and right, that if I understand this correct would send a full range signal to the sub, so that I would then use the variable crossover on the sub for adjustment.

    I have also noticed that if I set the mains to "large", I can then choose between "LFE", or "LFE+mains".

    Here's where I get a little confused. Do I need to set the mains to "large" in order to get a full range signal to the left and right line level connections (using the front left and right pre-outs from receiver to sub)? If the mains are set to "small", will it also cross over at 80 Hz through the left and right line level outputs like it does through the LFE output, thereby gaining nothing over the LFE ouput?

    I noticed that to get to the "LFE" or "LFE+mains" option, I have to set the mains to large. If I do set the mains to "large", wouldn't that allow low frequencies below 80 Hz to be sent to the mains (loud explosions, etc.)?

    I guess my real question here is can I use the left and right pre-outs to the sub, and leave my mains set to "small", and still get a full range signal to the sub? Or should I just set the mains to "large" thereby ensuring a full range signal to the sub that I can adjust with the subs built in cross over, and not worry about the low frequencies getting to the mains? If I did use the "large' mains setting, should I use "LFE" or "LFE+mains"?
    Just by a short amount of time listening, it seems like having the mains set to "small" creates the most bass out of the system as a whole.
    For reference, my audio system consists of:
    Denon AVR2802 receiver
    Rt800i mains (small/large/undecided)
    Cs400i center (small)
    Rt35i surrounds (small)
    Cs245i rear (small)
    PSW650 (1) and PSW450 (1) subs (connected via Y-cable to sub out and left and right line level pre-outs.)

    I realize a lot of this is subjective (use whatever sounds best to me, etc.) but I would appreciate other opinions and comments. Thanks for any responses or information.
  • rskarvan
    rskarvan Banned Posts: 2,374
    edited June 2002
    I think that if you set the mains to small... the signal going to the rca-outs on the left and right channel will be filtered at 80 hz and the remainder of that signal will be routed to the LFE out.

    I think the LFE channel only goes to the sub regardless of how the mains are setup (large or small). Remember, this is 5.1 (six channels) of discrete information.
  • RBreak
    RBreak Posts: 31
    edited June 2002
    I think your right, it makes sense that if the receiver is filtering out the lows at the speaker wire output, it will be doing the same thing at the rca pre-outs. I was hoping there was a way to have all the speakers set to small, send the LFE through the LFE output, and still have a full range signal coming from the rca pre-outs to the sub to give me the use of the variable crossover on the sub. I have read so many posts saying it is best to run all speakers on small and all lows to the sub, so that you don't work the receiver or speakers as hard. I guess the only way would be to run speaker wire to the sub, along with the LFE, and with the mains set to large filter the signal from the sub to the mains from the speaker wire output on the sub. If that would work the LFE would provide the LFE signal, the speaker wire input with the mains set to large on the receiver would provide the full range signal to the sub for using the variable crossover on the sub, and I could filter the speaker wire output from the sub to the mains at 80Hz. Might be worth a try just to see if it would work. Anyway, thanks for the response, I'm still new to all this so I am trying to learn as much as I can as fast as I can. I'm way behind most of the knowledge base here!
  • Handyhaver
    Handyhaver Posts: 66
    edited June 2002
    Rbreak,

    Good luck on your quest. I got a channce to play around with my setup over the weekend. I didn't have much time to play so I really didn't come up with a conclusion as of yet, but so far I'm liking the speaker level setup best with the sub set around 90.
    I just got u-571 and played alittle with the settings but due to other commitments that day,I wasn't able to include the final ingredient,

    lots a beer :D;)
    You can check out any time you like..,
    but you can never leave...........